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Poster: ned the head Date: Apr 12, 2010 4:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fusion v. Dead

The Bitches Brew Sessions is fantastic. I think in retrospect the Dead would rather have been in NYC rather than Woodstock. I would have liked to see some credit go to Miles for Solea which the Dead turned in to Spanish Jam. I don't look to '77 for the Dead's jazz...more like '73 '74

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Poster: steam locomotive Date: Apr 12, 2010 9:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fusion v. Dead

The Dead, even at their best, didn't approach the harmonic sophistication of Miles' electric bands, particularly the 1969-1975 era. Check out Live-Evil for proof.

That said, most jazz fusion is really, really bad. Basically, a bunch of well-trained jazz musicians with loads of theory in their head approached rock music like it was kid stuff, thinking they could surely outdo lesser musicians. The result is generally not a credit to either rock or jazz. This is true even of musicians like John McLaughlin and Joe Zawinul, who did great work with Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderly earlier in their careers.

The fusion movement was also the point where jazz divested itself of its blues core. The Dead never lost that core, and indeed were always highly sensitive to the roots of their music, no matter how far out there they got.

So, yeah, I'd say the Dead were not at the level of Miles Davis, but -- particularly in '73-'74 -- were better than 90 percent of the jazz fusion going around at the time.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Apr 12, 2010 5:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Spanish Jam (redux)

I first posted this three years ago. In light of this thread, I thought I would re-post it today. The subject is certainly worthy of continued discussion...


The Spanish Jam has been one of the greatest and jazziest pieces of music in the Grateful Dead's catalogue for almost the entire history of the band.

As you all may know, the composition was borrowed from Miles Davis. But the inspiration for Miles Solea comes from a classical Andalucian flamenco known as Malaguena.

Wilkipedia, for what its worth, provides a fascinating, if not factual synopsis of this composition:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malague%C3%B1as_%28flamenco_style%29


This 1963 jazz rendition by Ken Stanton is an excellent example of this Fandango:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/109457


The Malaguena has inspired the music of a number of modern jazz musicians, most notably, Davis' Solea from his Sketches of Spain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XobcAmMEkE&;feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTxvt5LvtK8&;feature=related


Some of you may agree that the Spanish Jam is one the most beautiful, and jazziest pieces of music the Grateful Dead performed. This may be because the Dead, while improvising, have remained true to the classical roots of this music.


It's hard to believe that this is the first ever performance. They must have spent time rehearsing this Jam prior to this:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-17.sbd.jeff.fixed-3927.7995.sbeok.shnf


The second performance of the song. Its amazing how sophisticated and jazzy this 1968 rendition is:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-20.sbd.miller.97340.sbeok.flac16


Just two night later, this version, which may be the best-ever, sounds like the sound-track to a Sergio Leone spaghetti western:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-22.sbd.miller.97342.sbeok.flac16


A primal example from one month later, is now a Road Trips release. It's like a gunfight between Weir, Garcia, Lesh and the drummers:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-02-14.sbd.kaplan.15640.sbeok.shnf


Dusted off after two years, this mind-bending performance of the jam includes members of the Allmans and Fleetwood Mac:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-02-11.sbd.smith.patched.99154.sbeok.flac16


In the closet it sat again for three years. An excellent and jazzy version from 1973 when it was played twice:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-03-24.sbd.cantor.deibert.83407.sbeok.flac16


Then not again for another year. Two extraordinary performances from 1974, when it was played regularly:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-06-23.mtx.seamons.105867.flac24

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-07-19.sbd.gans-finney.217.sbeok.shnf


After the hiatus the jam is again revisited:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd76-07-16.set1aud-set2sbd.miller.23569.sbeok.shnf


Shelved for several years, once again the jam resurfaces in 1981. Appropriatly at Barton Hall:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1981-05-16.sbd.miller.30647.sbeok.flac16


The jam continued to make it onto set lists through the 80's. There are even compelling performances of Spanish Jam during the 90's:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1992-06-22.dsbd.miller.32490.sbeok.flac16


What are your thoughts about this amazing jazz/fusion jam and what are your favorite performanes of it by the Grateful dead?

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Poster: stealyourwife Date: Apr 12, 2010 10:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

As much as I love me some Spanish Jam, I fail to see anything "sophisticated" about it, in its initial stages...Just sounds like the standard recipe of Pig and Bobby hammering on a couple chords while Phil and Jerry hammer away on a couple middle eastern / melodic minor scales...Minimal structure and maximum self expression. Maybe I'm missing something.

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Poster: Longnstrange Date: Apr 12, 2010 11:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

No, you aren't missing a thing. All that is happenning here is E to F with some pseudo-Latino minor arpegios. NOT sophistocated, and, Bolero ish, rather than 'JAZZY'.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Apr 12, 2010 7:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

While i love the '68 versions, I think 2-11-70 and 6-23-74 are my favorites. The 2-11 show sticks out because of what was happening on stage and I think the 6-23 is a fav in part because the sequence that it is part of. One of my all time favorites.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 12, 2010 10:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

With luck, no one read my idiotic rambling above yours, BUT, in defense, I will say the Clem Jam off the Aox Exp Version, is, of course, a similar early 68 jam vehicle with jazz overtones (right? I guess?) and it in fact is the one I listen to the most...I spoke with CLIFF a few weeks back about putting together an "instrumental" CD using those three tunes, and some from Birth of the DEAD, and the family doesn't even think it's the DEAD (while the Clem Jam was playing, one thought it was "jazzy CREAM").

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 12, 2010 8:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

EDIT: chalk yet another one up for me confusing "Clem Jam" off the Aox, with "Sp Jam"...

Just never mind how embarrassing this all is...

This post was modified by William Tell on 2010-04-12 15:57:40

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Apr 12, 2010 12:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

thanks again for that piece Cliff!

here's my thoughts, hope someone finds them useful


Spanish Jam: (all noted scale degrees related to major)

E7 Phrygian mode (w/major 3rd)
- 1st (E), b2nd (F), 3rd (G#), 4th (A), 5th (B), b6th (C), b7th (D)
(optional minor 3rd, major 7th...)

Fmaj7 Lydian mode
- 1st (F), 2nd (G), 3rd(A), #4th (B) , 5th (C), 6th (D), major 7th (E)

Phrygian mode typical for the Spanish vein, not very common in other contexts due to the flat 2nd degree's compelling association with all things that sound Spanish (particularly when employing the major 3rd which creates an augmented 2nd interval from the flat 2nd - F>G#)
- sometimes heard during the out jam of Crazy Fingers

Lydian mode in itself not very common due to the instability of the #4th degree's tri-tone relationship with the root (3 consecutive whole tone intervals, F>G, G>A, A>B)
- somewhat familiar in jazz, Gloria's Step (Scott LaFaro)
- seldom heard outside of jazz, Maria (West Side Story), Lady With A Fan jam, Saint of Circumstance jam...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 12, 2010 1:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

I just knew it was complicated! I do love it, but must admit, the Clementine Jam off the Aox Exp Version, as noted elsewhere, has my attn the past few weeks...not sure where it fits in, but somehow, I think of those two in a similar fashion, which may be CHRONOLOGICAL alone on my part!

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Poster: stealyourwife Date: Apr 12, 2010 4:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

WT, modes aren't really complicated, basically just move your major scale around so the root note is on a different part of the interval sequence...it's especially easy on guitar where it just amounts to shapes like tetris blocks (for me at least)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 12, 2010 5:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

Thanks, STYW--as you may have gathered, I not only stick my foot in my mouth on posts with regularity, but I also lack ANY musical training/backgrd/etc. whatsoever! So, I love it when those with more knowledge go back and forth on this sort of stuff as it gives me a superficial sense of what someone in the know thinks (as you, and I think L&Strang suggested, then, so did MS in his reply to me with the "yes and no" comment, indicating this wasn't necessarily "rocket science" on the musical front...which of course, in the end, doesn't mean much one way or another--but I get something out of the exchanges). I just appreciate that no one holds it against me that I have absolutely no understanding and yet will suddenly blurt out "this jam is fricking amazing, and must be a masterpiece because it sounds so complex!" (blah, blah, blah...nothing but my impression, of course).

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Poster: stealyourwife Date: Apr 12, 2010 5:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

I don't have any formal training either. It's all pieced together from random people simply willing to share with somebody hungry to learn.

to get an idea of how modes work you could pick any white key on a keyboard and hit a steady drone rhythm with the left hand and then experiment with just the white keys with the other hand, being sure to end your phrases on the same key that you're droning (use the black keys to gauge where you're at)...some will sound major, some minor, some middle eastern / spanishy etc...

musical theory is pretty freakin awesome

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Apr 12, 2010 1:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

"I just knew it was complicated!"

yes and no (pretty sure all that is covered in the first 2 or 3 chapters of VOL I)

Chick Corea's "La Fiesta" features an extended jam in Phrygian mode (uptempo latin in 3 that is unusual enough in itself) caused a good many accomplished jazz musician's to fall on their dinks when not prepared for it...however, i would expect someone who grew up in California (even the northern part) should be familiar with Spanish forms (?) especially at a relaxed tempo


not familiar with the Clementine jam you reference, but i did listen to this one (darling little tune that i wasn't aware of) noticed the intro section has a near identical progression to the Cream's "We're Going Wrong"
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-01-26.sbd.kaplan.2246.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 12, 2010 1:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

My favorite Mexican (?) tune, in No Cal, was "Jalisco!" which would be played by the little three piece "band" in various venues...that is about the extent of it...

Be sure to focus on the ending of "Sweet Wine" in the 10-15-67 show...speaking of CREAM.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Apr 12, 2010 2:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

sorry if that came across wrong, was speaking specifically to my expectation the GD members grew up around a pervasive Spanish musical influence (?) your answer suggests No Cal is probably to far off base for that assumption



just listened to 10/15/67 Sweet Wine again, wild stuff in the 2nd half of that jam! no doubt the tubes in those Marshall heads are just aglow during those jams, the whole show smokes! more later...

Cream creates these jams that don't really have much to do with the structures of the songs...continuing on with the modal/blues dilemma, i don't think it was necessarily redundancy that drove Cream apart as much as the incredible effort required to live up to the expectation of pulling a bigger wabbit out of thin air time and again...




full circle: Miles started out with complex Bop changes, drifted towards modal with Milestones/Kind Of Blue...then there was an era between K of B and Silent Way which to me, represented a healthy balance between improvisation over both complex changes and songs based on simpler modal forms...in a sense this early>mid 60's Miles era is similar to GD's approach, often improvising over the changes for a portion of a song then playing out an open ended modal jam at the end of the same song (Scarlet, Deal, Crazy Fingers, Black Pete, Stella, Dew, 1/2 Step, Unc J, Chinacat, Help>Slip...)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 12, 2010 3:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

Oh no, MS--I think you are right that there was/is a lot of Spanish/MX influence, certainly more to the south, but still present in the Bay Area...and, Jerry, from my reading of early childhood (I think?), very well would/may have been exposed to more...just pointing out I grew up in relatively "isolated" East Bay Suburbia in the 50s and 60s...out in a rural, largely white landscape if you catch my drift. We would hear Jalisco and other "folk/MX/Spanish" tunes at Mexican festivals of sorts, to the west in poor areas of the S Bay Area, mostly centered around food for us, frankly...I just always liked that one, but imagine it is a corny/pop/whatever kind of tune to Spanish/MX folk purists (dunno).

I have rec'd more CREAM, perhaps the most significant portion of which is a series of out-takes of studio work showing just how well JB could sing...tunes from Fresh Cream/Dis Gears era (66-67).

Once you've tired of what little I sent up, I'll put together another package...

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Apr 12, 2010 4:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

def into hearing more live stuff, thanks! (at your leisure of course)

sure appreciate this William, @ $10 a gb for everything i download AND upload torrent is out of the question for me (NWTel still holds a monopoly in No Can)

and it goes w/o saying you are more than welcome to a copy of anything that i mention that interests you


BillyD: i'll vouch for those jams
Cream 10/15/67 - Spoonful 20:46, Toad 17:03, N.S.U. 15:53, Sweet Wine 13:55 and a half doz other tunes in the 5 to 10 minute range...both Clapton and Bruce play full out raunchy for almost all of it, not much if any in the way of clean sounding guitar/bass, even during the singing portions

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Poster: billydlions Date: Apr 12, 2010 6:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

Thanks MS & WT. I'll keep an eye out for this show at the various torrent sites.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Apr 12, 2010 3:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

Hey Tell, just curious-are there live performances of Cream that are "holy grails" such as your 6-14-68? Did they ever have long improvised jams? I don't think I've ever seen any torrents at the usual sites.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 12, 2010 4:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

BD: they top out at about 20'. They are available, as Arb can attest (I don't do "torrenting"), I think, and the Holy Grail is 10-15-67, Grande Ballroom. But, to be honest, you get a pretty good feel for it all with the handful of live, "official releases", and if you went to a great deal of trouble to get the 30 or so SBDs/AUDs that are out there, you very well might come back and say to me, "well, okay, but not that much better than what I bought and paid for!" (unless, like me, you have become a CREAM fanatic, putting them right there with the DEAD, which, if not already obvious, I always have...).

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 12, 2010 5:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Cream (redux)

Although this is getting wildly off-topic, I'm also curious, WT, what your favorite Cream shows are aside from 10-15-67? Especially since I know you're not shaken off by poor AUD quality... Do you have a favored 'period' for Cream? - they changed quite a bit in the range of shows we have, from late '66 to late '68, with late '67 generally being considered the hottest time.
But early '68 (when most of the live albums were recorded) also has lots of fine shows - one I particularly like is the 4-5-68 Back Bay show (the day after MLK was shot, I think, and the band was freaking out about the riots outside the theater) - they start the show with a 20-minute Sunshine and keep going - not a good AUD, but good enough to enjoy.....

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 12, 2010 9:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Cream (redux)

Well, I guess it's obvious I really enjoy the 10-15-67 show, and the "remasters" version is even better than the original one (though that one was fine for the day, certainly). You also know by now how I obsess over shows, and having only recently expanded my collection from the original commercial releases (live/studio), I have really been concentrating on that one Oct show, and am hard pressed to find another to match it...so, what that means is I've probably listened to it 30 times in the past month, and most other shows only a few times to date (haven't even sampled them all, including the one you mention, 4-5-68, as the info available suggested it wasn't a great AUD).

Speaking of that, my love of 6-14-68 has given you the wrong impression--I am actually as much of a SBD snob as CLIFF. I make some exceptions, of course, and now really look forward to trying out that Apr show you mention.

Based on my attn to Oct 67, and sampling of most of those available from 66-68, I would say 67 is defn my preference at this point...4-22-67, though an AUD, is a very nice show with an untempo (!?) SOYL to start (if the voices didn't sound right, I'd think it has a tape speed issue!)...But, throughout the period, Spoon, SWine, NSU, and R&Tumb do serve as the primary jam vehicles of course, in both 67 & 68, and I am only now coming to appreciate subtle diff's in approach from show to show...

I'd say in summary, Apr & May of 67, Oct of 67, then Mar and Oct of 68 are the months for which I have a couple of shows each, and have been impressed with, whether SBD or AUD (I think that their loud vol approach must've helped with the AUDs, eh? Vocals are usu fine mix-wise, and it seems the three of them almost always come thru--no worries about a low intensity keybd player in the backgrd or any such issues as we have with TC!).

But, again--I have not sampled all the AUDs in my collection--yet--if listed as poor to average quality; will in time.

Thanks for the tip, and wish I could be more helpful. Give me another couple of months. Now, about that 95 DEAD as to 05 CREAM...[jk]...but, I do think they held up better, IMHO...GB was defn a bit weak/limited, and JB's defn lost vocal ability...oh, I do love the DVD from the AlHall, 68, though agreeing with those [band members even] that it was not a top performance, I so love being able to see JB and GB play--what intensity!.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 12, 2010 11:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Cream (redux)

That 4-22-67 show you mention from the Ricky Tick club, excellent recording - the Sunshine is the earliest live version, from before they recorded it, so it's kind of a rehearsal Sunshine....
Other good ones from the 'short solo' period are the Oct '66 Klooks Kleek tape, the March '67 Stockholm FM recording (which was a bonus disc on a Cream documentary DVD recently) - and there's a nice May '67 Marquee Club show which was put up on youtube a while ago (audio only), and another decent-sounding May show from the 'Tulip Bulb Auction Hall' - these May shows are notable for featuring some Disraeli Gears songs which were immediately dropped from their set & never heard again.

I've championed the 9-3-67 Fillmore tape before, pretty good sound & wild show - and there's a nice AUD from the Whiskey-a-go-go, LA show the day after, too. There's a really good show from Waltham, MA (usually dated 9-9-67) - good AUD sound, and similar to the fabled Detroit show, with a 20-minute NSU and huge Sunshine & Steppin' Out.
There's another Stockholm show, from 11-14-67, which I don't remember anything about. The Winterland 3-10-68 AUD tape is mostly duplicated by the live releases; there are some recently surfaced tapes of 3-3-68 and 3-18-68 which I haven't heard.
Most of the '68 AUDs are really for fanatical collectors only, not that great. The 4-5-68 Back Bay tape is the one that really stood out as an exceptional show.
The October '68 tour started off not so hot; though the 10-4-68 Oakland show is good-quality SBD, the Forum SBD from 10-19 is a better show (was used on the Goodbye album). The rest of the tour I don't remember, every show had much the same setlist; but I really liked the last Royal Albert Hall show even though the band didn't like it. (If you like that DVD, the Fresh Live Cream video has some excellent tunes from a small-club show, much better visually.)
Well, that's a little overview; I could've been more informative a few years ago but haven't listened to these in quite a while...

NSU, Sweet Wine, Spoonful, I'm So Glad - these were usually 'the big ones', but sometimes they'd add an extra long jam to Sunshine too. R&T and Traintime I could do without (they're always exactly the same & twice as long as they should be - oh, why didn't they do Cat's Squirrel live instead???)...but Steppin' Out I particularly like.
Midnight sun has mentioned their fixation on blues, which is definitely true (to be expected when you've got Clapton in the band), but I think they did a good job of picking a wide variety of blues songs (or varying their approach in each song), so there's not much repetitious 12-bar feel in any show.

They were definitely burning out by mid-'68, their last shows aren't as fiery as a year earlier. Jack Bruce has said how hard it was to come up with those long improvs every night, whether they felt like it or not, since the audiences demanded it (midnight sun also notes this) - but it wasn't the main reason for the breakup. I'd say the most important reasons were, 1. Jack & Ginger couldn't stand each other, 2. they were sick of touring, 3. after hearing the Band & seeing the negative Rolling Stone review, Clapton wanted out of Cream immediately. As a result, they could barely manage to record 3 songs for the Goodbye album, let alone carry on playing more music.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 13, 2010 7:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Cream (redux)

Well, thanks for the other tips too! I should've realized from prior comments you knew what was available, and were just asking what I liked (but also thought perhaps you wanted tips--you clearly know them better than I do at this point...the AUDs and most SBDs are all relatively new to me).

Just curious--you have amassed both DEAD and CREAM collections, and devoted serious attn to both; did it happen about the same time with you? Was it the web based availability that got you into bands that from your description of your "youth", you weren't into 20-30 yrs ago? I put it that way from your comments about "not being interested in the DEAD at the 'time' back in the 80s" (? I think).

Thanks again for the info; glad to know we share the love for two exceptional band histories...Thanks to our own Arb, I now have access to all those shows you mentioned...as you may have gathered, I came to the web world relatively recently, and just had no idea all this stuff was available!

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 13, 2010 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Cream (redux)

As I've mentioned before, I was into Cream & Hendrix (and the Who, among other groups) before I liked the Dead. Those are bands I fell in love with instantly; you've read about how it took me years to get into the Dead because I heard the wrong stuff first. (Strangely, I've never been that into live Jefferson Airplane, though I like their albums...)

The web is completely responsible for me becoming a tape collector....until I got online in the mid-'90s, there's no way I could have found other tape traders, & was amazed to see people with tapelists online. So in that way, collecting was made easy for me; I didn't have to go through years of looking for random contacts or magazine ads like the old-timers.
Some people here have mentioned that they got more into the Dead after finding this huge Archive collection, but I was already intensely interested in them before discovering this place.

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Poster: Incornsyucopia Date: Apr 12, 2010 6:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Spanish Jam (redux)

Another way to think of what they're playing over the E7 chord is as the fifth mode of an A harmonic minor scale: E, F, G#, A, B, C, D, E. Sometimes it's referred to as a harmonic dominant scale. It's all Lydian over the F maj7 though. I'd somewhat disagree with you as to the apparent dissonance of Lydian however. As George Russell so thoroughly pointed out in his Lydian Chromatic Method book, Lydian is actually MORE consonant than Ionian (otherwise known as plain old major scale) since the #4 can function as a chord tone simultaneously with the major 3rd, unlike the perfect 4th which can only do so as a replacement for the 3rd. This is also why it's more harmonically stable since it doesn't "push" its simultaneous major chord forward to another chord.

And one great example of the use of Lydian by the Dead that you left out is the jam in, at least the later versions of, "Cassidy." Very cool.

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